Seth Rollins defeated Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal championship to kick off WrestleMania XXXV. Lesnar had held the title since Crown Jewel last year after Roman Reigns had to relinquish it due to illness last October. Rollins earned the opportunity to challenge "The Beast" earlier this year at the Royal Rumble event, where he won the titular match. Rollins' victory over Lesnar makes him the sixth person to hold the championship since its inception in 2016.
The history between Rollins and Lesnar dates back to WrestleMania XXXI where Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase during Lesnar's bout. More recently, Rollins had been feuding with Lesnar and his advocate Paul Heyman for the past several months on his quest to "slay the beast." Rollins, who calls himself "The Beast Slayer," felt that Lesnar wasn't qualified to hold the title since he is never around to defend it. Since returning to WWE in 2012, Lesnar has been on a limited schedule and only appears at major WWE events. Feeling as though fans deserved a fighting champion, Rollins set out to dethrone "The Beast." While this is Rollins first reign with the Universal championship, many fans will recall that he was a participant in the first match to crown a Universal champion. While Rollins didn't capture the title that night, he made up for it tonight at WrestleMania.
In an unexpected turn of events, Rollins defeated Lesnar for the championship in the opening match at Wrestlemania XXXV. Prior to the match, Heyman marched his way down to the squared circle in order to proclaim that he and Lesnar didn't want to wait all night, so he proceeded to introduce his client. However, Lesnar assaulted Rollins before the match could get underway. After brutalizing Rollins outside the ring, the match finally got started and Rollins made quick work of Lesnar. After delivering three curb stomps to Lesnar, Rollins picked up the victory to claim his first Universal title.
Rollins will look to have a lengthy reign with the championship, and he will more than likely look to give Reigns a shot at the title, since he never lost it. The two are known for their tenure as members of the dominant trio, The Shield. And, with WWE removing rematch clauses for former champions, Lesnar will have to earn his rematch against Rollins. Since Lesnar doesn't show up very often, chances are Rollins' first challenger will be his former tag partner, Reigns.
Rollins' quick victory over Lesnar is shocking, but many fans will be excited to know that the championship will be back on weekly television. With Rollins being a more consistent member of the roster, fans will finally have a fighting champion on Monday Night Raw. The Universal title hasn't felt important since its inception, but with Rollins now holding it, WWE can finally highlight the title appropriately.